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Pak court adjourns Mumbai attack trial till March 18


Islamabad: A Pakistani anti-terrorism court holding the trial of the seven accused in the Mumbai attack case today adjourned the hearing till March 18 after it was informed that the record of the case again had been sent to the Islamabad High Court in connection with the bail plea of terror mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi.

“Today’s proceedings of the case could not be held after the court was informed that the record of the case again had been submitted to the IHC in connection with Lakhvi’s bail case,” prosecution chief Chaudhry Azhar said after the hearing.

He said a private witness from Lahore was to record his statement in the trial court today but could not do so because of this reason.

Earlier, at least three consecutive hearings could not be held due to this reason.

“The record is likely to be presented before the trial on March 18 as the IHC hearing in the Lakhvi bail case is to be held prior to that,” Azhar said.

The government had challenged the trial court’s December 18 decision to grant bail to Lakhvi.

The government however detained the Mumbai attack mastermind under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) which expires this week.

In last Wednesday’s hearing, a magistrate had recorded a statement about the existence of a training centre of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in Mirpur Sakro, in Thatta district of Sindh province.

The magistrate had recorded his statement to clear the ‘ambiguity’ in the statement of a private witness, Mumtaz, who earlier had told the court about the existence of a training centre of the LeT at Mirpur Sakro, located near the sea.

“The magistrate’s testimony was important to clear the ambiguity of Mumtaz’s statement and bring forth further facts about the LeT training centre there,” an official said.

54-year-old Lakhvi and six others РAbdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younis Anjum Рhave been charged with planning and executing the Mumbai attacks in November, 2008 that left 166 people dead. The trial has been underway since 2009.

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